By: John Raffel
Grand Ledge softball on pace for history-making season
Grand Ledge's softball team has started off the season again at 21-0 and coach Pat Malloy is anxious to keep the winning momentum going as long as possible.
“Last year we also had a pretty good start,” Malloy said. “We were 21-0 before we lost our first game.”
The Comets have won districts in the past, but wouldn't mind going farther this season. Malloy has been coach for five seasons.
“The school has not won a regional since 1979,” Malloy said. “We getting contributions from everybody, regardless of how old they are. We're getting great senior leadership.”
Grand Ledge is getting solid pitching also.
Nina Bennett and Emily Songer are leading the way on the mound. Freshman Maddie Meredith has found her way as a third Comet pitcher.
“I'm getting excellent pitching from everyone,” Malloy said. “The offense and the defense starts with Lindsay Goodman, a junior shortstop who hit her fifth home run. In my years of being around the game, she's the best player I believe I've coached. If she's not the best, she's in the top three.
“The kids follow her. When she's going good, we're going good.”
Malloy expects to see solid competition from the likes of Charlotte, Holt and others.
“Once you get to the tournament, they're all going to be tough teams,” Malloy said. “We'll probably see Petoskey and I think they're No. 8 in Division 2. From here on out and in the state tournament, every game is important and the schedule just gets tougher. I've set it up to establish the season and eventually crank it up a little bit to get ready for the state tournament. That's what we play for, to make deep runs in the tournament. The kids have done everything I've asked them to do. It comes down to executing on any given day. If they do that, I feel real good about our chances. They're good kids and they're talented.”
The Comets have five seniors.
“I have five seniors and they all contribute to different levels,” Malloy said. “I lean on four of them pretty heavily. So far, so good. They've done a wonderful job off the field, showing these younger kids, what's expected if they want to play in the program. It starts with academics. I've got 14 kids on the team and 12 of them have straight A’s. That's only less thing I have to worry about.
“Softball is important to these kids. But the seniors are going on to college. They're incredibly talented that way.”